Confession: When people ask me about my concerns with public school (they assume there’s a problem because why else would I homeschool, right?) I would answer that it’s more about what they DON’T do as opposed to what they do.
Don’t get me wrong; Faith, morals, and sexual abstinence are all great perks of homeschooling but I wouldn’t say that this is such a deciding factor any more.
I’m not even worried about the perceived lack of socialization as much as I’m terribly concerned that spending that many hours in a seat, with a book and a pencil, is considered “normal”.
I mean, I’ve held a full-time office job. I didn’t appreciate all the time at that desk. I can’t imagine my children (specifically, my active children) would fare that much better spending that much time in a seat and then coming home to do homework!
So what has us all sold on homeschooling (yes, even my kids) is all the hands-on learning, one-on-one learning, auditory and kinesthetic learning we can do in ALL areas of our house!
My kids love to do their reading on the sofa and at times, with the dogs. Reading to dogs is actually so beneficial for kids; it lowers their anxiety about reading and it gives kinesthetic learners something to DO while they sit still – like calmly and repetitively stroking the back of an animal that is all too happy to cooperate for this lesson!
This year, we decided to add some formal cooking to our curriculum by using Raddish as a part of our Home Economics. Best decision ever! They’re learning world geography and culture as well as kitchen skills, and of course – math and chemistry! This month, in honor of the Olympics, our subscription box was filled with Brazillian recipes and fun facts.
Then there are all the ways that God shows up in our homeschooling and bringing things together even better than I planned… Like, how was I supposed to plan for my kids to see Brazilian Gauchos swinging Bolas on YouTube as a part of our Raddish lesson and then learn about centrifugal forces in physics, where my daughter *entirely by coincidence* built bolas on her own?
Science is being supplemented with my middle child with Noeo-Yo Science kits and lessons because she’s a relatively new reader and Physics is not our strong point. I was more than happy to find a donated science kit box and curriculum at IDEA and just find the additional literature through yard sales and thrift stores… I must have spent about $30 out of pocket total but this gives me science experiments that I can do along with her Bookshark curriculum so she can understand the concepts. It’s always worth it to bring the subjects off the page.
My younger two are also using RightStart Math as their curriculum and I have to admit, this is a complete change for me. I was taught very linear, traditional math and I excelled up until high school. I was NOT happy with Common Core math. RightStart is time consuming on my part (I can’t just hand over the textbook and hope for the best, I have to do each lesson with them) but it’s time very well invested. My kids are developing a hands-on concept of quantities and mathematics and they can do so much more in their heads with just one month of starting! And my youngest, who is a little bit of a smarty pants, slows down a bit and enjoys the manipulatives that come with the lessons.
I wish public school teachers in every school district had the opportunity to do more hands-on, on-your-feet lessons. I know they try their best, and sadly too many of them are going above and beyond in less than ideal conditions. But if I’m completely honest, I’m sold on homeschooling because we can do learning beyond the tests! No assessments, just manipulation until they can confidently say they know how all the cogs move in a subject matter.
And just so you know, Raddish is a subscription box for ALL children, not just homeschoolers! I would say it’s worth using Noeo-Yo or RightStart Math with a public school child who is struggling or is bored. Don’t ever feel that just because your child goes to public school, you can’t take the lead with some enrichment activities at home.
Do you have some hands-on suggestions? Share below!